What is a Profession? Definition, Explanation, 10 Facts

A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognized body of learning derived from research, education, and training at a high level, and who are willing to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills for the benefit of others.

What is a Profession?

A profession is a specialized career requiring specific education, expertise, training, and ethics. Although professionals make a livelihood doing what they do, their labor is frequently more than a simple job or employment.

What is a Profession?

Those in the legal field, the medical field, the plumbing field, the writing field, the interior design field, or the baseball field are required to uphold common standards.

What is A profession made up of elements?

In an ideal world, professions are comprised of knowledgeable individuals with high ethical standards. The obligation of persons in specific professions to the public is a significant distinction from those who may participate in the areas as amateurs or non-professionals.

If a homeowner employs an unlicensed plumber to save money, he or she cannot hold this individual to the same standards as a licensed expert in the same sector.

People in some jobs are held to a far higher level of accountability than others who engage in the same activity as a hobby or in a less formal capacity. For instance, an aspiring author who writes for little or no compensation would not be expected to create the same caliber of work as a professional author who writes full-time for a job.

Due to public safety concerns, certain occupations prohibit amateur or hobbyist status. To serve as a medical doctor, for instance, only a licensed physician with appropriate qualifications is authorized.

Understanding Professional development

Professional growth is frequently a significant aspect of this sort of position. Typically, in addition to completing the original education and certifications, those in a certain field must also renew their licenses or pursue continuing education courses.

What is a Profession?

Typically, professional organisations establish norms and rules for refresher courses and other forms of career development.

For instance, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) provides members who have been out of the job for some time with access to refresher training. It advises which courses are suitable for legal assistants or paralegals based on their specific circumstances.

Refresher courses are available in a number of formats for the convenience of members. Typically, NALA courses are offered both in-person and through various Internet-based learning choices.

Therefore, two factors are crucial for defining ‘profession.’

It includes knowledge or experience in a certain sector, subject, or science.
It involves employing their abilities.

Speacial Point: Origin and Evolution of the term ‘Profession.’

The fact that Webster’s Third New International Dictionary initially defined the word ‘profess’ as the act of publicly swearing a religious oath demonstrates that religion was the most significant aspect of life in those days.

Eventually, as time progressed, this narrow, precise, and restricted definition of the word ‘Profession’ broadened to include the public statement of non-religious thoughts as well.

Consequently, the term ‘Profession’ developed a more secular sense with the onset of the modern age, when liberal-capitalist concepts began gaining popularity and finally became the norm.

In addition, when specialisation became one of the major pillars of the liberal-capitalist system, the term ‘Profession’ became to be linked with competence and skill.

This idea is further supported by the fact that the word ‘Profession’ was first used to describe to vocations such as medicine, law, theology, and frequently the military in the 16th century, which was the height of the Renaissance era. This was considered the domain of the educated and privileged.

What is a Profession?

Moreover, the word ‘Profession’ is a shortened form of the phrase ‘liberal profession,’ which was Anglicized from the French phrase ‘profession libérale’ in the nineteenth century.

The 20th century saw the adoption of ‘profession’ with its present classless (upper-middle) and mostly economic meaning.

Currently, the word ‘Profession’ refers to any occupation practiced by those with the necessary credentials and abilities to serve the public or a customer.

However, it is neither a profession nor a business. It is distinct from both of these categories in that its members are governed by a code of ethics.

While every profession may entail a “employment,” not every occupation is a profession. In contrast, a ‘profession’ is only one form of ’employment’. To be considered a ‘profession,’ a ‘occupation’ must make the following important advances:

Milestones that transform an Occupation into a Profession

While every profession may entail a “employment,” not every occupation is a profession. In contrast, a ‘profession’ is only one form of ’employment’. To be considered a ‘profession,’ a ‘occupation’ must make the following important advances:

  1. Turning become a full-time occupation.
  2. The establishment of a training institute.
  3. The establishment of a university institution.
  4. The formation of a neighborhood association.
  5. The establishment of a nationwide professional ethics association.
  6. The establishment of state licensing regulations.

Examples Of Profession

The following are examples of prominent professions:

  1. Scientist
  2. Architecture
  3. Information Technology
  4. Distributor
  5. Medicine, and many more.

Advantages of Profession

Among the key benefits of having a career are:

  1. It focuses on increasing effectiveness.
  2. It is predicated on specialization and skill improvement.
  3. It is controlled by a code of behavior, and as a result, individuals are held accountable.

What is a Profession?

Disadvantages of Profession

The following are some major drawbacks of a profession:

  1. Due to a tight rule of behavior, a ‘profession’ occasionally invades the personal space of an individual.
  2. Individual members of a profession frequently experience elevated levels of stress due to excessive adherence to professional conduct.

Understanding Professional

What is a Professional?

The term professional refers to somebody who makes a living by performing a task that needs a specific degree of knowledge, ability, or training.

Typically, there is a necessary standard of skill, knowledge, or education that must be shown (sometimes in the form of an exam or certification), along with adherence to codes of behavior and ethical standards.

Types of Professionals

There are several kinds of professions. There are several categories and groups, which are detailed below, for both athletes and business professionals.

The following are examples of the many types of professionals:

  • Accountant
  • Teacher
  • Technician
  • Laborer
  • Physical
  • Commercial Banker
  • Engineer
  • Lawyer
  • Psychologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietitian
  • Research Analyst
  • Midwife
  • Mechanic
  • Dentist
  • Electrician
  • Consultant
  • Investment Banker
  • Programmer

Professional Standards

Professional standards are a set of norms, ethics, and behaviors that members of a certain professional group are expected to uphold. A governing body that reflects the group’s interests typically ratifies these sets of norms.

What is a Profession?

Here are some examples of professional standards:

  • Accountability – takes responsibility for their actions
  • Confidentiality – keeping all sensitive information secret and out of reach of those who should not have it.
  • Fiduciary responsibility – putting the needs of clients above one’s own Honesty – always being genuine
  • Integrity – possessing robust moral convictions
  • Law-abiding — adheres to all applicable laws in the jurisdictions in which they conduct business.
  • Be devoted to one’s career.
  • Objectivity – not persuaded or affected by prejudices
  • Transparency is the disclosure of all pertinent facts and the absence of any secrecy.

Professional vs. Amateur

A professional engages in an activity to make a living and has proven a specific degree of proficiency or received a certificate, whereas an amateur engages in an activity as a hobby, pastime, or without income.

Following are examples of amateurs:

  • Amateur athletes
  • Amateur theater
  • Amateur photography


There are several sorts of designations that professionals are required to get or may choose to obtain in order to carry out their duties.

Common designations include:

  • Notary Public (NP)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)
  • Registered Interior Designer (RID)
  • Professional Engineer (PE)
  • Certified Scrum Master (SCM)
  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Medical Doctor (MD)

Understanding Professionalism

What Is Professionalism?

The term ‘Professionalism’ refers to a Professional’s personal ideas towards their behaviour as a member of a Profession. It is frequently associated with the observance of the principles, laws, ethics, and norms of a Profession in the form of a code of conduct.

Why Is Professionalism Still Relevant?

Regularly, the significance and value of professional behaviour are questioned. In 2010, our president at the time, Don Larkin, encouraged Dr. George Beaton, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and Chairman of beaton, to publish a key piece on Why Professionalism is Still Relevant.

The article argues that ethical concerns and duties are the essence of professionalism since they lead to and retain clients’ confidence. There is no definition of professionalism, not even a broad overview of its qualities, that does not incorporate ethics and altruism as a major component.

What is a Profession?

Dr. Beaton further argues that ‘as long as individuals and professions retain this spirit of professionalism – even and especially in an age of globalisation – they will survive and thrive, and professionalism will continue to serve mankind’

Why Professionalism Matters More Than Ever?

We are pleased to announce the publishing of George Beaton’s second white paper, which follows his groundbreaking article on how professional groups and professional service contribute to professionalism and its influence on culture, the economy, technology, and government.

“When you allow an anesthesiologist to sedate you for surgery, you have a tremendous deal of confidence in their skill. When hiring a lawyer to defend you against an unfounded charge, you hope they have a firm grasp of both the legal system and your circumstances.

When you hire an architect, you want them to construct a structure that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also fireproof, structurally robust, and long-lasting.

In each circumstance, you rely on the credentials, competence, and experience of another individual. You rely on something that is both more vital and more difficult to define: their professionalism. (2022, George Beaton)


Therefore, being a member of a profession necessitates arduous training and formal schooling. In addition to talent and application, the term ‘profession’ also refers to the proclamation of one’s commitment to a religious institution.

As a result, a member of a profession is required to adhere to a set of ethical norms for that sector.

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Pat Moriarty
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